Windows 7, superior to Microsoft’s Vista

By John Son

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Photo courtesy of Microsoft.

Photo courtesy of Microsoft.

Vista was a failure. When Microsoft first released it, every tech blogger came out of the woodwork to criticize its shortcomings. To add insult to injury, consumers (myself included) often requested that computers be shipped in with the older Windows XP installed, instead of Vista.

But Windows 7 is here. It’s everything Vista was supposed to be and more. According to a report by Morgan Stanley, the week before Windows 7 came out computer sales were down 29 percent, then shot up 69 percent in anticipation of the new operating system.

Windows 7 is less about flashy new features, and more about practicality. It fixes many of the things in Vista that frustrated users.

The first thing I noticed when I installed Windows 7 was battery management. The screen automatically dims significantly after short periods of inactivity. Movement of the mouse causes the screen to brighten quickly, become bright again so you can continue working while maximizing battery life.

Windows 7 also fixed many of the problems Vista had with UAC, or User Account Control. In Vista, every time users tried to install a program, UAC would pop up and stop all activities. UAC would sometimes deny access to installed programs even if users were supposed to have full control.

Windows 7 makes UAC less intrusive. However, it has yet to be seen if these modifications will result in increased or decreased security for users. In any case, I’m glad it’s not such a nuisance anymore.

The operating system also XP mode. It’s software you have to download and install, but XP mode allows users to run any programs that were designed solely for XP in a virtual environment that Windows 7 creates. For business people that might have industry-specific programs installed, or anyone in general, XP mode will assuage any worries associated with backwards-compatibility.

Last but not least is performance. Overall, Windows 7 really isn’t faster than previous operating systems. For users frustrated in the past by Vista’s slowness it might be your hardware that’s the problem, not Windows. If you have an old computer, Windows 7 might also run pretty slowly. But for most computers that have been bought within the past couple of years, it should run fine.

Microsoft has made a pointed effort to make Windows 7 easy to use and accessible to as many people as possible. Windows 7 fixes most of Vista’s problems, and finally allows Microsoft to compete with Apple’s OS X.

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